Mardi Gras is officially in full swing for the first time since 2020! If you are a freshman or sophomore like me who has never experienced a “real” Mardi Gras you are probably confused about how the whole thing works. Most people don’t realize Mardi Gras takes place for well over a month and there are over 70 parades that happen during that time. This past weekend I attended my first Mardi Gras parade to see Krewe of Chewbaccus, a 900 member Sci-Fi/Star Wars theme parade with 150 sub krewes, regarded as one of the best parades. It was honestly one of the best nights I’ve ever had since attending Tulane. For hours my friends and I stood, observed, danced, and cheered as the krewe members passed with fantastic costumes and elaborate floats. It was truly unlike anything I had ever seen before. I would like to share my takeaways from the experience to pass on to the inexperienced and urge them to get off Tulane campus, ditch the frat party and see what Mardi Gras is all about.
Wear comfortable shoes
You’re likely going to be standing for a while and if you’re like me, dancing as well.
Wear a costume!
Bonus points if it applies to the parade theme.
Don’t block other people’s views or box other parade attendees’ views
Everyone around you will give you a death stare or verbally shame you… so just be a decent person and don’t do it.
Time it right & do your research
You definitely don’t want to miss the parade by going to a part of the route the krewes have already passed. Also, look into what parade you’re going to! MardiGrasNewOrleans.com has all the parade route, timing, and krewe background info you will need.
Interact with the krewe members
If you feel like it, cheer on the krewe members! They appreciate the hype and will probably give you beads or a pin as a token of appreciation.
This is New Orleans culture and you are a spectator so respect the space, the krewe members, other attendees, and the props/floats.
Be safe and have fun!
You’re going to be surrounded by hundreds of people when viewing the parade and there’s no crowd control so make sure you keep your belongings and your group close to you. Be aware of your surroundings and enjoy the parade!
Happy Mardi Gras!
Cover Photo Via WGNO